[Read more…] about Our association has a heated election every year. One of the candidates running in a recent election was given an owner’s proxy, which they put in the ballot box. However, that owner passed away between the time of giving the proxy and the annual meeting of election. Does that proxy still count as a vote, seeing how the unit owner was deceased by the election date?
Sean A. O’Connor
[Read more…] about I just saw our association’s budget and was surprised to see the huge amount budgeted for Legal Expense. We could probably hire two full-time attorneys for what is budgeted. Is there a formula for figuring out what appropriate annual legal expenses should be based on an association’s size and overall budget? The amount my community plans to spend seems excessive.
… From some articles I’ve read, it seems that the homeowners should have an attorney for the transition. Is this absolutely necessary? It has also come to light that the developers have been paying some bills through the HOA account which I believe to be developer bills for selling homes and not HOA bills; however, I was waiting for the board to be entirely homeowner-controlled before asking for access to past bills that have been paid. Do I need an attorney at this point? I have been looking online for the proper procedure to follow to request a special election of the HOA Board, but cannot find anything.
[Read more…] about I am the recently elected President of a new town home community, which still has 2 developers on the board? Our bylaws state that once the community is 75% settled, a special election meeting can be requested to be held within 60 days to elect residents to the spots now held by the developers. I have requested the meeting by email to the management company and the developers, but to date nothing yet..
[Read more…] about We have fences that straddle between home decks. Many years ago the fences were “assigned”, including both sides to one of the homes. It is that homes responsibility for the entire fence. Maintenance is gained by accessing the non-fence owner’s property. One of our owners is stating that they can not be forced to access their neighbor’s property and therefor should not be responsible to maintain both sides. Additionally they will not allow their neighbor who “owns” the fence on the other side access to their property. Does the association need to change this arrangement?
[Read more…] about What is the appropriate way to collect and coordinate proxy votes? The current board (going out of office at election)? The new board members going into the election? A third party? We want to offer proxy voting to our HOA members/residents, but need to have a way to collect and hold them until the election meeting, without anyone being accused of anything inappropriate, such as tampering with those votes.
[Read more…] about In a Cooperative the Propriety Lease allows the Board of Directors to adopt House Rules. If there is no reference to fines or any other monetary issues regarding same may the Board institute a range of fines for House Rules that shareholders have not corrected after a warning letter. What about if in BY-Laws?
[Read more…] about We have a no pets condominium since 1981 and wish to stay that way. 4-5% of the general population has cynaphobia. We wish to keep our condos pets-free. Is there case law you can provide? is a declaratory judgment action is federal court on a case by case basis the best way to deter pets who we feel don’t merit accommodation ? We have one owner we gave an accommodation who has cancer, and 2 we wish to challenge who are not owners and who have concealed dogs without presenting their ESA letters.
Sean A. O’Connor
Finkel Law Firm, LLC
PO Box 41489
Charleston, SC 29423-1489
QUESTION: My building has a common room that is used daily by people playing cards, mah jongg, etc., and I do believe people who don’t live in the building participate in some of these games. We recently allowed a resident to have a meeting in the room as well. Afterward, another resident requested use of the room for a meeting that would possibly have a few people who don’t live in the building. They asked for an application. I denied this person’s request to use the room, and informed the individual that the association attorney was in the process of writing rules for the room’s use, and the board did not want residents using it for meetings about issues the board does not approve of. Prior to this, for a few years, this individual’s wife was on a committee, and a few weeks after this incident, the board president met with her to tell her that her committee was no longer needed and was being eliminated. That same week, the board president organized a group to do the same activity the individual’s wife’s committee was doing. The couple has sent us a formal letter stating they feel singled-out by the board, and discriminated against. Do we have an issue?
[Read more…] about My building…I denied this person’s request to use the room, and informed the individual that the association attorney was in the process of writing rules for the room’s use, and the board did not want residents using it for meetings about issues the board does not approve of…